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The Low Glutamate Diet Effectively Improves Pain and Other Symptoms of Gulf War Illness, 2020, Baraniuk

Discussion in 'Nutrition, food sensitivity, microbiome treatments' started by Tom Kindlon, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Free full text:
    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/9/2593/htm



     
  2. Tom Kindlon

    Tom Kindlon Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  3. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

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    Any objective measures?
     
  4. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    Hasn't this been discussed in another thread? Or was that a low glutamate diet for fibromyalgia? Anyhow, if their "low glutamate diet" is like the other low glutamate diet and actually a "low preprocessed food with added MSG diet" it's misleading. Glutamate levels can be affected by other things, perhaps by increasing vegetable intake..
     
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  5. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    But the question is - do you have to remove food that naturally contains glutamate? Some of the foods listed in this thread are associated with inflammation for other reasons than their glutamate content (I get symptoms if I eat nightshades). Other dietary approaches that change your metabolism could work the same way, by regulating glutamate:glutamine ratio, I'd think of typical "anti inflammatory diets" (of which many include tomatoes, not everyone are as sensitive to nightshades as I am).
     
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  6. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    The idea of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors interests me because I and my two children were exposed to methyl bromide and its downstream products immediately before becoming ill with ME/CFS. The authors have this idea that acetylcholine dysregulation makes glutamate receptors over-activated and this causes neuroinflammation and a permeable blood-brain barrier. I am not understanding how that can cause a chronic but fluctuating outcome.

    But assuming all that is true, does reducing glutamate in the diet help people with Gulf War illness?

    40 GWI people - 20 allocated to a low glutamate diet, 20 on wait list (who subsequently also had a go with the diet). So, an open label trial. The diet was a healthy diet with added micronutrients, possibly much better than some of the participants' usual diets. All outcomes were subjective.

    Here's an example of the reported change in symptoms:
    Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 6.07.00 PM.png
    I think that level of change is easily explained by the placebo effect of an open-label trial, perhaps assisted by a better diet for some of the participants.

    I haven't looked into the stats of the MSG challenges after the one month trial but it sounds like things were all over the place.
    I end up being annoyed. Why did they not do a proper blinded trial with everyone on a low MSG diet and some people taking MSG capsules? This study tells us nothing, other than a low-glutamate diet does not cure people with GWI.

    Despite a trial design and outcome that do not provide any evidence that a low glutamate diet helps, the authors seem to be talking up the trial as a great success.
     
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  7. Aslaug

    Aslaug Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the world of nutritional science :(

    Re fluctuating symptoms - you can have fluctuating levels of the metabolites that are causing problems I guess.
     
  8. shak8

    shak8 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Small study (N=40).

    Great results when following low glutamate diet ('following' is a bit sketchy as are most dietary studies).

    These results are subjective for the most part.

    Also, the least improvement was for joint and muscle pain.

    But when the double-crossover groups were challenged with MSG capsules, there was no clear evidence of worsening symptoms.

    And were the results (especially the gastrointestinal symptoms) the result of more fiber in their diets or the result of some other nutrients, other than glutamate?

    The body and brain have their own tricky way of balancing out dietary glutamates, I think.

    Edited to add: How can this study be termed 'double-blind' when half the participants are knowingly following the strict diet (they are not blinded). There's an obvious built-in placebo response here. The other arm is the waiting list, or diet as usual--no change would be expected anyway.

    Another personal quip in medical research: when a one-trick pony (a pill, a chemical) is proposed for what ails one, I get suspicious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  9. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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